Peirene Salon

25 September, 2010

Lovely Meike from Peirene Press invited me to her sixth literary salon and I couldn’t resist saying yes! I’ve never been to a literary salon before although I’ve read a lot about them. This one was for Friedrich Christian Delius’ Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman which I enjoyed reading. On an off chance I asked my sister whether she’d be interested in coming and she surprised me by saying yes. So all three of us, including my brother-in-law, who have never been to one wandered over to Meike’s to see what it was all about.

There was quite a large group from the Goethe-Institut as well as people involved in translation and German literature. We met some lovely folk who worked in translation and editing, had some wine and interesting conversation, admired the book-lined rooms and settled down to listen to literary reviewer Chris Shüller introduce and talk to Delius and his translator Jamie Bulloch. They discussed the role of the translator and how important it was to preserve the author’s voice in the novel (especially since it was one long sentence in this instance). There was talk of the war and how it is only recently in Germany that people are able to talk about the experience of German civilians during the war, something which was taboo for a long time. And you may be pleased to know that the Mother in the novel was re-united with her husband three months later in real life^^

The three of us enjoyed the evening tremendously. Especially my sister who discovered the joys of reading later in life (not a big reader when she was young and had to be paid by my father to read) and my brother-in-law ( who doesn’t read except for work and isn’t embarrassed to say so). We had a lively discussion on the way home and are looking forward to participating in more literary endeavors together!

Literary events seem to be having a boom these days. Have you been to any literary nights out recently and if so, what did you enjoy most?

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10 Responses to “Peirene Salon”

  1. Iris Says:

    I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t been to any literary events. I was hoping to go to bokmässan this weekend in Göteborg, but I couldn’t get any rooms to stay in, so alas. I think I would be quite shy at such an intimate literary event, but then that’s probably make it all the more enjoyable as well.

    And I am very glad to hear that the mother got reunited with her husband 3 months after the novel.

    I’m glad you had such a good time!

  2. winstonsdad Says:

    great fun by sound of thing really wish I could have come but couldn’t get down to london ,some great photos and a ncie write up ,all the best stu

  3. amymckie Says:

    It looks like a fabulous time! I’m jealous you got to go 🙂

  4. Charlie Says:

    This looks really special, especially for the setting and being about one book. I’d love to go to one one day.


  5. Sounds like fun, Sakura. I’d love to be able to get to one of these events but it’s difficult living so far away.

    I love that your dad had to pay your sister to read! I wish someone would pay me to read – I’d make a fortune! 🙂

    • chasing bawa Says:

      Hah, I wish someone would pay me to read too! Then I wouldn’t need to work and can even earn more money reading! London does have a monopoly on literary events but I’m noticing a lot more outside London in the past few years:)

  6. Mae Says:

    Was this the one that Kim from Reading Matters chaired? The setting is fantastic though with that magnificent wall of books! I love lit. events. They always leave me enthusiastic and loved, especially if they sign my books!

    If only I was paid to read when younger. 😦

    • chasing bawa Says:

      Kim did hers in a bookshop. I really wanted to go and see hers and it seems they had a wonderful discussion but had already booked this one. Haha, I wish I was paid too!


  7. I wish these events weren’t always so London centric. I get so envious. I’m glad to hear the father survives – I thought he might not. Lovely book, and lovely write up of the Salon

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I think they’re slowly expanding out from London now, but still centred in big cities 🙂 I couldn’t help but ask Delius if the mother and father are re-united. I wasn’t sure whether he wanted to answer me, but then I think we all wanted to know.


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